The Khulna Infectious Diseases Hospital is housed in a run-down, rickety building that belies the institution’s importance.
This is the only infectious diseases hospital in the south-western region of the country where doctors have been providing treatment to patients from 21 districts for such diseases as Diarrhoea, Tetanus, Pneumatic tetanus, Varicella, Measles and hydrophobia for over 50 years - it was established in 1968 by the side of Bhairab River in Mirerdanga of Phulbarigate area Khulna.Visiting the hospital a few days ago, the UNB correspondent found that building was in a dilapidated and risky state. Lack of renovation and repairs for over 50 years has reduced the building to its present, appalling state.
During monsoon, even the slightest shower causes rainwater to seep through the ceiling, causing tremendous suffering to the patients admitted to the hospital. Besides, dampness had caused the plaster to peel off large parts of the ceiling and walls.
Moreover, the hospital suffers from a serious lack of manpower for its supervision.
At the backside of the hospital there are some unused buildings. Taking advantage of the neglect it faces, local drug addicts gather there as soon as night falls, and leave their used items lying around there, further contributing to the unhygienic surroundings.
The manpower crisis extends to the doctors’ roster as well. There are only two physicians for treating patients in the 20-bed hospital. Patients are receiving treatment in unhygienic environment as the hospital lacks security guards and cleaners.
Visiting a ward at the hospital, the correspondent found cowdung in front of it. Besides, there are some abandoned buildings just behind the hospital from where patients are getting bad odour.An employee of the hospital, who did not want to be named, said the authority concerned does not supervise the hospital building as it is situated in rural area.
Mamun, a patient of the hospital, alleged that bad odour coming from the area is enough to make patients sicker.
Besides, they are being forced to buy medicine from outside of the hospital as there is no supply of medicine from the authority, he said adding even, the hospital does not have cholera saline what is the main drug for diarrhea affected patients.
Md Habibur Rahman, a medical officer of the hospital, said a little amount of medicine is being supplied by the authorities.
There are only two medical officers against five posts in the hospital. As a result, sometimes a doctor has to stay at office for 24 hours.
ASM Abdur Razzak, civil surgeon of Khulna, said the hospital is too old as it was built in Pakistan era. It has a total of 20 beds currently.
“We have sent a letter to higher authorities seeking support to erect a new building and transform it into a 50-bed hospital. But we are yet to receive any response from them,” Razzak said.
About lack of doctors, he said that no doctor want to stay in the hospital due to its poor condition. The situation would be improved if new building is erected.